Camino de Santiago

Month: March, 2018

Discipline and Self Control


“You can not be happy without discipline. In fact, if you want to measure the level of happiness in your life, measure your level of discipline.” Matthew Kelly

Walking the Camino de Santiago is an experience of discipline. To walk the 500 miles, you really need discipline. You must be committed to a rigorous daily physical regime that goes on for about 5 weeks. It is a commitment to a full day of walking then resting, eating and sleeping, all to begin again the next day and the next day until you reach your final destination, the Cathedral in the city of Santiago de Compostela.

I am including a quote from the book , “Perfectly Yourself” by Matthew Kelly, which I have been reading during the year’s season of Lent. I have found the book to be filled with some great wisdom. This particular “wisdom”, I see is, oh so true. When I am applying discipline and self control in my life, it leads to good things in my life. I am a better person because of it.

Another mistake I have made is when I took on the attitude or the mistaken notion that freedom is the right or ability to do whatever I want. Again, when I live like this it has led me to some places in my life that when I reflect back on later, I have regretted. I am not happier like I thought I would be.

It has been my experience, that discipline and self control are important to a healthy and happy life. Maybe you also have experienced this in your lives, as well?

Blessings and all good,


Photograph of the Week

Sea and Sky

This was taken about a month ago during a weekend getaway to Moclips, WA. A very dramatic sky that evening!

Simplify – Be Free To Dream

20140910-Pyrenees-74-final-1One of the issues we faced as we prepared to walk the Camino was to get the weight of our packs to the 20 lb range. We pared down as much as we thought we could but still it turned out, like so many that start the Camino, we were carrying too much weight. After about a week of walking, we realized how burdened we were with our heavy packs. We decided to simplify and reduce the weight of our packs by sending the stuff we stripped out of our pack forward to our destination city (Santiago De Compostela).

Oh, how nice it was too drop that extra weight! It made a difference as we resumed our walking. We found that our lightened load allowed the freedom to be more present and aware as we walked. We had more energy as well. It was a welcome relief.

I find myself looking back at this time and I realize that I am in constant need of shedding stuff to find more energy and freedom. Our lives are complex and filled up with so much stuff that burden us down. We are constant need of simplification.

I was thinking about our dear granddaughter Katherine with her amazing imagination and ability to weave a story and to dream. I wonder if some of this comes from how her life is so much simpler, there is less clutter and complexity.

I think there might be something to all this. The more we simplify and reduce the complexity of our lives, the more we can be free to dream, the more energy we will have and the more freedom we will feel. The more we can be present to those around us as well.

It seems to me that this is the way to go but alas it does take self discipline and self control in our lives to say no more often to those things that sound so good. I want to do it all. Yet too much is too much. Simplification is better.

Hope you all find a way to reduce and simplify the clutter and complexity of your life. I know I have a ways to go!

Blessings and all good,


Photograph of the Week

Skellig Michael – Stairway to Heaven

With St Patrick’s day upon us I thought I would revisit a photograph from our trip to Ireland in 2016. This image was taken on Skellig Michael island where monks inhabited this remote island off the coast of Ireland in the year 500. Talk about simplification!

True Colors


180226-Fun with Kids-3-Final“The voice of the authentic self calls to us ceaselessly from within. Traditionally it has been called the voice of conscience, but regardless of what name we give it, we all have this quiet, gentle voice within us, and it is our truest guide.” Matthew Kelly

One of the special opportunities that both Terri and I were looking forward to when we decided to walk the Camino, was the chance to have lots of quiet time to think and reflect and pray during our long walk. Time to seek out that inner voice within. I know we both certainly experienced that in our long days of walking.

It was a very important time for me as I had just embarking on a new phase in life as I had just retired. What would be next in my life? Looking back 4 years later (yikes, 4 years?), I can say without any hesitation that I have found my “true colors’ in my retirement. It has been all I could have hoped for and more! I am living a very fulfilled retirement. I feel a strong sense of purpose and a great energy to my “work” of retirement. I think a lot of the credit is due to this important period of my life walking the Camino and getting my head straight. Listening to that “quiet, gentle voice within”.

I titled this blog this week after the song called “True Colors“. Terri and I have listened to the Justin Timberlake version of this song, from movie “Trolls“, a lot recently as it a favorite of our two little grandchildren. In the movie, the heroine of the story is Poppy , who is a relentlessly upbeat and courageous little troll, who at one point in the movie becomes very sad and she loses all her vibrant colors and turns to grey like her friend Branch (a very cynical and sad little troll). Ironically, it is her friend Branch, that helps her recover her “true colors” bring her out of her sad funk. They both end up turning into vibrant colors from their drab grey.  They both rediscover their “true colors”. Then they do what all happy trolls do, “Sing, Dance and Hug”!

We all can can get distracted and off track in our lives and find ourselves anxious and sad at times. Sometimes we just need a friend like Branch to help us out of it or maybe we need to take some time to getaway and to listen to that quiet, gentle voice within us. It is the voice within us, that truest guide, that is helping us to be the “best version of ourselves” and leads us to our “true colors”.

You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged, oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
The darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
This world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
Just call me up
‘Cause I will always be there
And I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
May you find and let your “true colors” shine!
Blessings and all good,
P.S. The image at the top of this blog was created from a photograph of our granddaughters coloring art on a window. Kay and Freya’s coloring on the window was a fury of multiple colors and I took it a bit farther 🙂
Photograph of the Week
I took this image during a walk on Sunset Beach which is between Moclips and Pacific Beach, Washington. Very dramatic sky to say the least!